We need your help! $80K per Month Emergency COVID Response

Recently, COVID has come on like a tsunami and on October 1st, Stepping Stone took expensive emergency action to ensure the safety of our residents and staff by moving half of our residents to an area hotel to allow for more social distancing.

Initially, quarantining those residents who tested positive and sending home staff who tested positive, seemed like it would be effective. However, with 66 residents, and the small footprint of our shelter, we just couldn’t create enough distance between everyone. So, on October 1st, the decision was made to move our male residents into a local hotel to help curb the spread.

As you can imagine, moving this number of people, several of whom do not have their own transportation, from one location to another, was extremely difficult. Adding to the difficultly, from the residents’ perspective, is the fear of this virus and the uncertainty of their housing as they are asked to pack all of their belongings and move. The mental toll of this crisis is immense.

Along with the expense of sheltering the residents at the hotel, we’ve had to move to provide individually packaged meals to each resident and with our staff shortages, that required us to order meals from local businesses.

How You Can Help

We’re asking for your help with our fundraising campaign.
We’ve set up a JustGiving page, which is similar to GoFundMe.

You can either:

1. Donate by using the teal green button


2. (preferred) Set up your own team and start fundraising by sharing your team link!
Do this by using the orange button on the fundraising page.

Start Here – JustGiving Fundraising Campaign



Update – October 1

Currently, 30% of our residents and two staff members have contracted COVID-19. Despite our ongoing vaccination clinics offering 1st, 2nd, and booster shots as well as ongoing testing, cases continue to rise in our small congregate living environment. Our response to this has been swift, unprecedented, and costly.
In order to help prevent the spread and for the safety of our residents, we’ve moved all our male residents to a local motel. This preventative move is needed, but costly.

Update – October 7

At this time there have been two more staff who have tested positive. Due to this increase in positive cases, my immediate concern is, “do we have enough staff to have a 24/7 shelter?” The answer is no.

Our lease with Anoka County requires us to have at least one staff person on-site at all times while residents are living there. No residents = No 24/7 staff.

Because of this, we will be moving 100% of our residents out of the shelter throughout the weekend and into Monday. My hope is that we will only have to do this for 3 weeks, but knowing that it could be longer. Contractually, we have to shelter 62-66 residents each night.

The cost of having one resident living at the hotel for one month is $2,150.

If we have between 62-66 residents that equates to $133,300 – $141,900 per month in hotel room rental cost alone. If we have less than this number, we run the risk of our contracted funding with the State being reduced.

Update – October 19

All of our residents have been moved into the hotel as of Oct. 11th, so that we can slow the spread. Thankfully, no one has been admitted to the hospital. We have a certified nurse to check on our residents who have tested positive.
We are trying to spread our funds out to make sure our residents are cared for. However, this model is not sustainable.

Update – November 3

We’ve only had four positive cases last week. However, for the safety of our residents, they will be staying in the hotel until the end of December. The shelter remains with a skeleton crew.

Thank you for your support during this time.